Tobia the Egyptian vulture made it to Malta – and survived the ordeal, after having been guarded all night long by conservationists and the police!

After Agata and Sara were released in Puglia in late August (see here and here for news on those two birds), four other captive bred Egyptian vultures have been released on the 9th of September in Calabria, as part of an experiment to test procedures and get crucial data on the feasibility and relevance of captive-breeding and restocking/reintroduction projects with this species, led by CERM (on behalf of the Italian Ministry of the Environment), in collaboration with the Vulture Conservation Foundation and the Egyptian vulture EEP

image

Keeping watch for Tobia

Aneta, Karel, Tobia and Carmen spent the first 10 days after release from the hacking platform next to the area, but then started their migration, and most have now travelled to Sicily.

Yesterday, Tobia, a bird born in the CERM specialized captive breeding center in Italy, left the Italian island towards Malta, arriving in the late afternoon – and causing a lot of anxiety to all following his trip, as Malta is very well known as a hotspot for shooting migratory raptors.

image

This is the rocky area on Malta where Tobia landed, now being guarded

by volunteers and the police

 Fortunately, conservationists are also well organised, and in a record time we could mobilize some wonderful Malta colleagues, led by Natalino Fenech, who, together with the police, surveyed Tobia and made sure no hunter could shoot him. This morning, at 08.30am, Tobia left the seacliffs where it roosted (see photos) and is now flying towards Libya – we hope he can make it, as Sara did (see here).

image

 The Vulture Conservation Foundation would like to thank all the colleagues in malate, including the Maltese police – who guarded Tobia during the night. You can read a story published today in Malta about this increadible at http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2015-09-25/local-news/Satellite-tagged-Egyptian-Vulture-named-Tobia-visits-Malta-BLM-6736142577

Here you can also see a short video that colleagues from BirdLife Malta took of Tobia before he settled on the cliffs for the night.

(Photos by Natalino Fenech)

This article was first published by the Vulture Conservation Foundation

Comments are closed.